The Witches Tarot- Key 18-The Moon, is a card of Wiccan attributes, and therefore, depicts an artistic interpretation of the Trinity Goddess of Maid, Mother and Crone as Hecate the Crone standing at a foggy crossroads, holding a torch. Their is a breeze disturbing her silver hair. Around her neck is the Wheel pendant of Hecate, who as Saturn, dictates time. At her waist are 3 skeleton keys and a pentagram. Hecate is known as the goddess of the "3 ways" or the goddess of the crossroads, as she is believed to hold sway over the sky, earth and sea. She can appear as a maid, a matron, or a crone and guide, as she appears on the Witches Tarot Card. In Wiccan philosophy, the Crone is not some old hag, as often depicted in Christianized propaganda, but rather a woman of wise power, who has acquired great knowledge in her lifetime, and wears her years beautifully.
Being a psychopomp, the Crone can be known as the Irish legend of the Banshee (Bane-She) who heralds death. Many author's depicted the Banshee as some screaming horror that comes in the dreary night, claiming the soul of someone within their darkened home. However, I have found this to be a total misinterpretation that maybe sells horror stories to those who fear death, but is not even a slight attempt at truth. I have seen and know her as a very beautiful, mature and loving Psychopomp who comforts the dying, and easies their way to the next world. Hence, the light at the crossroads.
On the Witches Tarot, Hecate is accompanied by 3 wolves, who are said to represent our wilder nature. Hecate was always depicted as being accompanied by wolves, dogs, or some sort of canine. This is because our homo sapiens body, is the Psyche's/Souls, companion in this Great Work of ours. The 2 willow trees in the back ground, are sacred to Hecate as the Willows correspond to both water and the moon's lunar magic. What many of us fail to see, is that magic is everywhere and can be found in the most unsuspected places. Even the act of the Divine Creative, making something out of No-thing, is very magical. Try leaning against a healthy tree, while just thinking of the feel of the tree on your back, you may feel and hear the magic thrum of earth's magic pulsing through its hard strength.
THE MOON, which is the 18th Key or ATU of the Major Arcana or Trump, in Qabalistic Tarot is called the Path of Qoph--meaning, back of head or ear. Connecting Netzach (Victory) with Malkuth (Kingdom) the Path of Qoph is described as the "Victory of the Material World" and/or the "deceptive effect of the apparent power of the Material World". This path, is also known as the "Threshold to life”: a spiritual birth that may be considered on 2 levels. On one level, it is the course of incarnation where the soul organizes the physical body of which it will inhabit. It is a kind of sleep (physical consciousness not yet formed), a kind of pre-consciousness, that differentiates into mater from the collective unconscious of the 7th Sephiroth-Netzach. On another level, where the student is advancing spiritual awareness up the Tree of Life, it is a path of conquest of the phantoms of their "man-made" personality which are creations of the created.
The Path of Qoph, is a probationary path in the Psyche, where the student must face the emotional phantoms hid in the dark recesses of their own mind, as well as those of the race. The moon symbolizes the “Self –reflection” that goes on with the inner Solar Logos/Soul and our consciousness. Our consciousness is the Moon of “self-reflection”, that reflects the light of the Soul that is the Golden Child of the Universal Collective Unconscious. Hence, this path can be disturbing to those of weak moral fiber, and can pose real dangers to one's emotional stability. On the other hand, those strong enough to tread this Path and slay the monsters "within" our sleep-consciousness and understand their mechanisms, gain the capacity to manipulate those qualities in ourselves and those of others. Mastery of Illusion is a product of this path.Hence, one manipulates their "nightmares" rather than being manipulated by them.
The meaning of Qoph is also the back of the head, behind the head itself, is the Sum-Resh. The Moon symbolizes the anterior to the bright intellect of the Sun. The Moon, the Path of Qoph, only reflects the light of the Sun. Thus the central path of the card goes from the dark side of the Moon, towards the light side that reflects direct Sun-light. This rising act of direct Sun-light is show as the Egyptian Scarab symbol of the God Kephera (kheprera), pushing the Sun towards the Moon. Basically, the Moon -ATU-18, symbolizes the rebirth of light out of hideous darkness; bright intellect overcoming the dark denizens of our sub-conscious, i.e. the illusions of emotional fears.
In Thoth Tarot, THE HIGH PRIESTESS, is a source of pure, crystal clear waters (consciousness) emerging from the God Head-The Father, to God the Son/Sun. The Same waters of consciousness are seen here on The Moon card, but they are polluted with the dark subconscious fears of mortality, that physical manifestation bestows on consciousness. However, as I have stated before, the traveling up the Path of Qoph, towards the "Son/Sun Consciousness”, notably changes the body physiology, as the Bright Beautiful Light Intellect of the Son (Tiphareth) descends into it. When traveling up the Path of Qoph, the Personality becomes increasing aware of the Higher Self and less control by the dark fears of the body are felt.
Dr.Paul Foster Case called The Moon, the "Corporeal Intelligence" which means the "body consciousness". Also in Hebrew the word "corporeal" means "to rain upon", which is why we see the symbols of Yods raining down from the central orb of the card. Since this is a Watery Card, some of a more poetic bent, say that these Yod symbols are "tears of the Moon- Goddess" raining down and filling the Nile. What we all agree on is that something descends from the Moon to the Earth on the Path of Qoph, which is represented as raining Yods.
The path of Qoph is that of primitive instincts, of nature red in "both tooth and claw" which emerges uncontrolled by moral or ethical reasoning. The traveler of this Path will face aspects of themselves that our culture forces them to repress but are indeed integral and undeniable parts of our predatory human form. This is the Survival Mind, where the "law of the jungle" resides in the dark pools of violence and conquest. This can be a very cruel path to endure, until the student is able to fear not these internal demons which removes the veils of darkness, allowing in the Bright Intellect of the Son who applies beautiful reason to our consciousness.
The simple Hebrew letter of Qoph, translates into the English word, sleep .Thus we have a conscious relationship with the Moon, the bright Sun reflecting side, our waking consciousness and the dark sunless side of the "sleeping" subconsciousness (animal mind). As the Moon has cycles, so does our consciousness, as during the cyclic phase of conscious withdrawal from the physical (Sleep) many of us still act upon the fantasies and information closely related to the body’s survival based experiences. Their dreaming is filled with phantoms produced by the body’s fear of pain and/or death which once consciously transcended, is the successful completion of the Path of The Moon.
The initiate, finds that birth, death, and resurrection are pivotal concepts on the Path of the Moon. These biological processes occur in the light and dark of our sensual perceptions. The two figures of Anubis, the jackal -headed gate keepers, on the Thoth Card, symbolize this cyclic process (Spiral energy) as the god Anubis was the Egyptian god of light and darkness, death and resurrection. The "As above, so below" is shown as a pattern on this card also reinforces this meaning.
The Moon, symbolizes the process that consciousness goes through, when energy proceeds from order to disorder (2nd law of Thermodynamics), from organized flesh to choatic-death. To understand the Path of Qoph--The Moon, is to understand the partnership of our personality-consciousness to the physical vehicle, which the Soul Personality builds for each manifestation. Since most people perceive themselves as having existence only through their bodies, this is often a most difficult undertaking.
The Moon was often seen as a Goddess of Life (White Goddess of Light and a Goddess of Death (Dark Goddess) at once praised and then feared. It is the physical vehicles fear of dying that hounds our consciousness in many subtle ways, producing phantoms who manifest as phobias, obsessions, and mental - emotional disorders. Our consciousness comes from the immortal Soul'Psyche, and is unused to such thoughts of fear filled ending. We recycle, our consciousness, which is a "reflection" of the Soul Conscious-Personality. Bodies forget, that they are a recycled part of the Whole Organic Organism that we know as "Organic matter". Like I have often said," You came from cranberries and to cranberries you shall return..." which is a slightly dark humor that I use to give the brain pause from its attempts at survival thinking.
We are not a physical brain (Wet-ware). We are Spirit-Psyche, who is supposed to program the brain-wet-ware with its own Self-ware, for the purpose of experiencing the discernment of being a "living thing" and/or knowledge. Thoughts can no longer be indiscriminate mental ramblings of an imagination without measure. They now must support life, and expand and liberate the "living" from fear of death- based thoughts. Knowledge, comes from form, and will always take form as a natural response of creation in this Universe.
The Immortal-Selves of Self, i.e., Souls, are here to redesign the "survival mind" of the animal body. We are the Suns of Living Creative Conscious Energy, who must self- reflect upon a world of Matter, which for generations was symbolized by the Moon. For as we all know, this is the realm of "Reflected light" which is less than one percent of the total electromagnetic spectrum that is the medium of our “personality-consciousness. One could say, that on the Path of the Moon, the Souls learns to run the physical vehicle, a reflection in the light of the Son/Sun, by expanding the brain's perspectives beyond that of life and death, into the knowledge of Transformation. Here the Soul is the Lucid dream of Self, and can change that dream formula of Self, just by a change of perspective. Here, we are in charge of the "Selfie".
When the Moon card is thrown during a reading:
· The querent is experiencing dissatisfaction and voluntary change is on the horizon.
· The querent is experiencing choice and authenticity over old illusions and delusions.
· A call to enter into the darkness of the unconscious and to come to grips with one's fantasy made demons.
· Within 18 weeks or 18 months the querent must take control of the survival mind and expand it beyond its fear based perspectives.
· They must remember, that they are a Spirit who owns a body, not a body who owns a spirit; an Immortal Conscious that owns a mortal consciousness.
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